Upcoming Events

2018-19 Program Season 

You’re invited! We’d love to have you join us.

8 a.m. unitl 10 a.m., Nov. 14 – Social Media & the Law

Presented by Butzel Long Attorneys Robin Luce-Herrmann and Jennifer Dukarski

A retweet could land you in court. A ‘borrowed’ photo could breach copyright.Do recent new stories have you concerned about how you might get maximum attention for your posts and messages while remaining perfectly legal?

A lot has changed in the two years since we’ve discussed this topic! The social media realm changes weekly, sometimes daily, so this is a great opportunity to get the latest legal advice. We will explore the issues and discuss real-world examples to illustrate key points about the proper and improper use of social media in corporate communications.

Butzel Long attorneys Robin Luce-Herrmann and Jennifer Dukarski will engage with us on the following topics:

  • Social media and our First Amendment right for free speech
  • Understanding how reporters use social media
  • Legal implications in creating public forums and the ability to block certain persons or entities
  • Employer rights to control certain messages by employees on social media
  • How those running for office use Twitter and Facebook
  • Voice-enabled technology, your privacy and the new Internet of Things
  • Pitfalls involved in sharing on social media
  • How to keep your social media channels secure

Robin Luce-Herrmann is the head of Butzel Long’s Media group. Representing a broad array of clients, Ms. Herrmann concentrates her practice in the areas of media law, particularly defamation, privacy and access issues. She serves as General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association, the official trade association for the newspapers of Michigan, with more than 300 members throughout the State.

Jennifer Dukarski focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on the legal issues arising from emerging and disruptive innovation including vehicle safety, connected and autonomous cars, data privacy and security, and mobile applications. She advises on big data, automotive threat vectors and privacy issues, and uses her emerging technology expertise to draft and negotiate development agreements and technology licensing.

In 2016, this AWC Detroit program sold out and people are still talking about it! Don’t miss this exciting discussion of a topic that is crucial for all communicators to understand. 

Sponsored by: 

Register Now!

Oct. 18 – Leadership Summit at Lawrence Technological University

AWC Detroit and IABC Detroit have partnered to bring you this exciting leadership summit for Detroit communicators!

This is a great opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of accomplished leaders who will educate, inspire and encourage you to pursue your personal leadership goals. Each will provide valuable insights and share personal success stories on taking charge of your career advancement, raising your level of influence and how to be your own type of leader.

Whether your desire is to build a business, climb the corporate ladder, or build the confidence you need, this event is for you. Invest in your career by spending an afternoon networking with talented leaders and colleagues here to help you succeed.

You’re Next! Leadership Summit Speaking Lineup:

Leadership Summit Agenda Topics – to be delivered in a “TED talk-like” format:

Building Your Own Coalition of Leadership Allies
Emotional and Social Skills for Leadership
Leadership Lessons
Leading with Authenticity
Culturally Conscious Leadership
Speaker Q&A Session

Sponsored by: 

Register Now!

Past Events

August 14, 2018 – Networking Happy Hour at Baronette Renaissance Hotel, Novi

A great time was had by all!






April 26, 2018 – How Workplace Branding Creates Company Culture

Have you ever walked into an office and thought to yourself, “I know exactly what these people are about!” or “I’d love to work here!”?

When a brand and a company’s culture is evident, it’s by design – pun intended. Thoughtful branding and design can inspire by providing spaces with more meaning that spark employee engagement, pride and productivity. Co-working spaces are creating community and helping teams generate fresh ideas. Workplaces and tools are being designed for employee comfort and performance. 

Our guest speakers explored the many ways the workplace environment can bring company culture to life, amplify the brand, attract and retain the best talent, promote high morale, and increase productivity. For telecommuters and road warriors, they provided tips on how to utilize your environment and tools to maximize your work experience.

Our panelists:

Katie McGerty is the Marketing Manager at ISCG, a women-owned business creating inspiring workplaces for over 40 years in Michigan and across the U.S.

Karen Dybis is a writer, blogger and the author of four books on Detroit. She is a frequent contributor to Corp! Magazine, Detroit Unspun and The Detroit News.

Kristin Palm is Managing Director of Communications at TechTown where she leads communications, marketing and branding, and manages TechTown’s events and co-working programs.

About ISCG: ISCG provides office furnishings and commercial interior design services to create inspiring workplace environments across metro Detroit and beyond.

This program was sponsored by Chapter Partner Sponsor LTU.

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March 14, 2018 – Dancing with Details: How to Stage a Successful High-Profile Event

The Association for Women in Communications Detroit Chapter invites you to join us for a luncheon March 14 at the Nomad Grill in the Best Western Hotel

Molly MacDonald, CEO and founder of The Pink Fund raises more than $650,000 a year to help breast cancer victims. Her biggest event is “Dancing with the Survivors,” that draws legions of volunteers, contributors and patrons. She tells members and guests how to organize people and details, overcome challenges and make everything memorable.

This program was sponsored by Program Sponsor Avis Ford and Chapter Partner Sponsor LTU.


November 16, 2017 –  STOP GUESSING: Building a Social Media Strategy That Works

Who is following your company brand on social media? Are you talking to the right people? If not, how do you reach them?

Social media can be an effective communications tool for businesses of any size, but only if you’re reaching – AND engaging with – the right audiences. In this workshop, interactive discussion and exercises we covered the following topics and more:

  • Identifying and prioritizing your social media target audiences
  • Understanding the four key areas of social media and how to maximize their individual power
  • Getting in tune with your own social community – who are you reaching and what do they care about
  • Customizing your content strategy for the people you are reaching and those you aspire to reach


Nick Skislak, CEO/Founder, SS Digital Media – Nick Skislak is the CEO and founder of SS Digital Media, a nationally recognized digital marketing agency in Troy, Michigan. He started the company in 2008 in his studio apartment and today the company is leading the way in building and growing e-commerce companies. Skislak graduated from Western Michigan University in 2006 with a BBA in advertising and promotions. After a year at Campbell-Ewald, he joined a digital marketing agency in Royal Oak and cut his teeth on search marketing for small businesses – and his future path was set. Using his new knowledge, Nick founded SS Digital Media, now approaching its ten-year mark realizing remarkable growth every year.


Emily Shirden, Partner, Finn Partners (2017 Holmes Report & PR News Midsize Agency of the Year) – Emily Shirden leads integrated communications for Finn Partners, a global communications firm based in New York City. She brings to her clients a wealth of experience across industries and sectors and has led award-winning digital communications work since joining the agency nearly eight years ago. In 2014 Email relocated from Chicago to the Detroit office, which has grown to include some of the city’s most exciting projects and longstanding brands. Emily has led a cross-office agency team working alongside Michigan’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, as they communicate to their members, small businesses and other stakeholders through an unprecedented time of health-insurance industry change.  Under its customer-centered vision, the team has developed a social community that grew 2,000% in just under five years and holds industry-leading engagement rates.  Emily is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington and holds a BA in Journalism. She will graduate with an MBA from Michigan State University in March 2018.

This event made possible in part by:

October 18, 2017 – Standing up for Diversity

Diversity can be messy and time-consuming, but the rewards are enormous. Because it can be tricky, words matter, and communication plays a huge role in making diverse communities/groups successful. Communication takes diversity a step further, to inclusion, and that is the ultimate goal. Inclusion is the critical factor so when people talk, they are not suspicious of others and their motives.

The polarization is electronic and digital, as Americans increasingly inhabit the filter bubbles of news and social media that correspond to their ideological affinities. We no longer just have our own opinions. We also have our separate “facts,” often the result of what different media outlets consider newsworthy.

The Detroit chapter of the Association for Women in Communications had a lively discussion on how we communicate and celebrate diversity in the workplace and in our communities.

Panelists were:

  • Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski, an ardent proponent of racial diversity, who governs a city that is home to African-Americans, Muslims, and more. She has been Hamtramck mayor since 2005. She offers a unique perspective on the challenges of navigating the ins and outs of her city’s varied ethnic communities.
  • Kim Trent, award-winning social/political activist and journalist, Kim has been a reporter for several newspapers, including the Detroit News. Kim has also served on the staffs of Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Governor Jennifer Granholm.
  • Calvin Moore, is the host of Leading Questions with Calvin Moore, broadcasting out of the Podcast Detroit studio in Royal Oak, MI. Calvin has consistently pushed the boundaries of accepted conventions in his search for truth and understanding. With the rise of new media, he noticed the degradation of dialogue between disparate viewpoints, which led to the creation of this program.

Oloman Café and Gallery, 10215 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck

This event made possible in part by:

September 14, 2017 – Convicting & Exposing Crooks and Criminals

We had a high impact evening with Barbara McQuade and Tresa Baldas, as they were interviewed by Carol Cain at CBS TV – Channel 62 in Southfield. These accomplished leaders shared their fascinating experiences and perspectives on defeating and exposing crime and corruption, solutions for today’s critical national and local issues and valuable advice from their successful careers in law and media.


Headlining the event was Barbara McQuade, the first woman to have served as the U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from

2010-2017, with a number of significant case achievements. Her high-profile successes include the conviction of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and more than 30 others on public corruption charges; the life sentence of the “underwear bomber,” an Al-Qaeda operative, for attempting to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day; and a 45-year sentence for Dr. Farid Fata who lied to patients about having cancer to bill Medicare for expensive chemotherapy treatments. Barbara currently is a law professor at the University of Michigan, where she teaches criminal law and national security and is a legal analyst for MSNBC.

Tresa Baldas is an ace court reporter for the Detroit Free Press who has covered Kwame Kilpatrick, the gynecologist performing genital mutilation on teens, cyberbullies, human trafficking and the Pokémon Go trial. She diligently weighs justice issues, both the public desire to get wrong-doers off the streets and the rights of citizens to a fair trial.

Anchoring the interview discussion was Carol Cain, nine-time Emmy Award-winning Senior Producer and Host of “Michigan Matters,” the weekly show airing 11:30 a.m. Sundays on CBS 62 focusing on politics, business, education and more. Carol also is an award-winning columnist at Detroit Free Press.

This event made possible in part by:


 August 17, 2017 – Pay and Parity 

The Good Girls RevoltWe met at the Motor City Java House and honored Diana Jacokes, a former member who was a champion for parity and a mentor to many in the communications field.

We reviewed the pilot of the Amazon special program about a group of women who fought against Newsweek for equal rights and heard from local Journalism Hall of Fame winner Mary Lou Butcher Casey who led – and won – a class-action suit against The Detroit News in the same fashion.

A special thanks to our sponsors Linn Cummins Henkel and Lawrence Tech.

Motor City Java HouseMotor City Java House
17336 Lahser Rd., Detroit 48219

Our Events and Programs

Our goal is to offer events and programs that provide:

  • Practical topics to help you every day of your professional life
  • Opportunities to sharpen your communications skills and broaden your  knowledge
  • Expert insights to provide perspective on relevant issues
  • Opportunities to network with communicators from all disciplines

AWC Detroit Past Programs

Coming Soon

March 2017 – Panel: Storytelling through Pictures

The Power of Images in a Multimedia World

  • Dr. Carol Cooper, PhD, Chair of Mass Communication Dept., Rochester College
  • Elayne Gross, President, Elayne Gross Photography
  • Steve Perez, Former Staff Photographer, Detroit News
  • Melinda Kollins, Partner, Uptown PR

Venue: Rochester College

February 2017 – Panel: Political Communications

Fiercely Divided – How we come together on important issues

  • Tim Kiska, Assoc. Professor of Journalism, University of Michigan-Dearborn; long-time election analyst
  • Aaron K. Foley, Editor, B.L.A.C. Magazine
  • John Truscott, President & Partner, Truscott Rossman
  • Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO & Partner, Truscott Rossman

Venue: Sila Italian Restaurant, Berkley

January 2017 – Social Networking Event

Venue: Eddie Merlot’s, Birmingham-Bloomfield

November 2016 – Panel: Social Media and the Law

Careful What You Say

  • Robin Luce-Herrmann, media attorney at Butzel Law and general counsel to the Michigan Press Association
  • Jennifer Dukarski, attorney at Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office, practicing in the areas of intellectual property, media and technology.
  • Ron Dzwonkowski, former editor of the Detroit Free Press editorial page

Venue: Law Offices of Butzel Long, Bloomfield Hills

October 2016 – Panel: Fundraising Communications

A Plan for Success

  • Jennifer Litomisky, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House of Detroit
  • Nicole Gize, Director of Campaigns, Children’s Hospital Foundation of Michigan
  • Paula Brown, Executive Director, Reading Works Detroit

Venue: Ronald McDonald House at Detroit Medical Center

September 2016 – Panel: Real Food Journalism

Insights on the Local Food Culture

  • Anabel Cohen, food writer/columnist/blogger and caterer
  • Patty LaNoue Stearns, restaurant critic, feature writer, gourmet cookbook author
  • Halle Saperstein, registered dietitian, media spokesperson

Venue: Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital demonstration kitchen

August 2016 – Writing Seminar

How to Write About Your Family without Getting Excommunicated!
Award-winning author Susan Shapiro shares tips on writing books and getting published.
Venue: Huntington Woods Public Library

June 2016 – PR Toolkit Workshop

Presented by Sue Voyles, President, Logos Communications
Venue: Women’s Business Council office, Livonia

March 2016 – Panel: Investigative Journalism in the Age of BuzzFeed

Reporting the real story when citizen journalism is pervasive and the facts can be elusive

  • Tresa Baldas, Federal Courts reporter, Detroit Free Press
  • Chastity Pratt, Urban Affairs reporter, Bridge Magazine
  • Robin Luce Herrmann, general counsel to the Michigan Press Association

Venue: Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), Southfield

February 2016 – Social Networking Event

Venue: Bosco Café and Dessert Lounge, Ferndale

October 2015 – Panel: Young Professional Speak

Millennials Rock the Communications Industry

  • Anna Leigh Clark, freelance writer for local and national publications
  • Tatiana Grant, president of Infused PR & Events; co-owner of Flash Delivery
  • Oona Goodin-Smith, then Oakland University journalism student and contributor to USA TODAY College
  • Moderator: Alicia Nails, Emmy Award-winning journalist and director of Wayne State’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity

Venue: Motor City Java House, Detroit